On their website, SERC defines itself as a "quasi-public agency established under statute to serve the CT State Board of Education in supporting educational equity and excellence." However, its internal documents proclaim that SERC seeks "to better serve Connecticut’s students and their families, particularly Black and Brown students, students learning English, and students with disabilities through advocacy and the development, implementation, and sustainability of innovative, culturally relevant programming." [source: https://files.serc.co/documents/20220210_RFP%20_ELFEB2022_Affinity_AMENDED.pdf]
Originally formed in 1969 to address requirements in the Education of the Handicapped Act, today over 40% of SERC's work in school districts promotes CRT in teacher trainings through a relentless focus on race. Their 2019-2020 Annual Report indicates that 31% of their in-district contracts focus on 'Racial Equity' while an additional 4% support 'Culturally Relevant Practice' and an additional 7% fall under the vague theme 'School Climate'. [source: https://files.serc.co/documents/reports/annual-report-2019-2020.pdf - page 31]
SERC training materials are as infused with racial rhetoric as their website and Annual Report. According to SERC Executive Director Ingrid Canady, "Racial justice is central to who we are, and addressing structural racism hits to the heart of what we do... WE cannot stand by and witness our communities of color still held down by the legacy of systemic oppression." [source: https://files.serc.co/documents/reports/annual-report-2019-2020.pdf - page 9]
SERC profits by actively splintering Connecticut students by race in the classroom. SERC spearheaded the passing of Public Act no. 19-12 which mandates African American and Black and Puerto Rican and Latino studies to be added to the required programs of study for public schools and requires all local and regional boards of education to include these topics in their curriculum beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
This taxpayer-funded organization now seeks to engage teachers in racially segregated trainings. SERC is currently seeking RFPs from CRT experts to lead small groups of 'educators of color' in 'conversations about race'. From the SERC website:
"The SERC Foundation is seeking competitive proposals from qualified and interested organizations with proven expertise and experience in providing professional development, support, and networking opportunities for educators and educational leaders of color in six specific partner school districts to promote growth, development, and sustainability, specifically through the convening of affinity groups. The purpose of the affinity groups is to provide a space for educators of color to connect, share experiences and best practices, and have their voices heard. Successful proposals would provide opportunities for connection and empowerment through an ongoing professional learning experience for educators of color.
"Partner districts are those that have engaged with the SERC Foundation in professional learning and capacity building to support, promote, and develop racial equity in education. The partner districts are New Haven, Middletown, New London, Waterbury, New Britain, and Southington." [source: https://ctserc.org/news/2019/rfp-to-provide-professional-learning-to-educators-and-educational-leaders-of-color-through-the-convening-of-affinity-groups]
Submitted: Feb 14, 2022